Whenever I open a package from Minnesota-based Pad & Quill, it's always a pleasure. While I'm not sure that every order from P&Q is hand-wrapped in brown paper and sealed with a red wax seal, it heightens the anticipation of wondering what's inside the package. This week the surprise was a pair of wallet cases for the iPhone 5/5s: the Luxury Pocket Book (US$84.99) and the Bella Fino ($54.99). The Bella Fino also works with Apple's colorful iPhone 5c. Let's take a look at these gorgeous cases to get you ready to beg a friend or loved one to give you one for the holidays ... and to enter our giveaway.
Luxury Pocket Book
The Luxury Pocket Book is the latest in the Pocket Book series from Pad & Quill. The key word for this product is luxury -- it comes in one of two exterior finishes, either Whiskey or Dark Chocolate, both of which sound delicious and look even better. The leather has a 25-year warranty, so you know that when you put your iPhone 5s into the "ancient technology museum" the Luxury Pocket Book is still going to look awesome. That leather also has French hemmed seams, which meant nothing to me until I Googled the phrase and found that it's a way to produce a beautifully smooth edge on garments and bags. Finally, the exterior has some subtle embossing on the "spine" and back just to add class.
Inside the Luxury Pocket Book is one of Pad & Quill's signature pieces, a wood frame that holds the iPhone in place. For this case, the company used Baltic birch with a satin finish, and all edges have been rounded for smoothness. Across from the iPhone is the wallet. Pad & Quill uses a variety of interior leathers for this area, with slate gray, forest green, or deep sea blue available.
The wallet has a "see-through" space for an ID, complete with a slot for using a thumb to pop the ID out for closer inspection. There are two other pockets for credit cards, as well as a full-sized pocket to put cash into. Holding the case closed is an brown elastic band.
All in all, the Luxury Pocket Book is deserving of the name. It's a very nicely constructed wallet case that will accentuate any iPhone 5s.
Bella Fino means "pretty up" in Italian, and that's exactly what this slimline wallet case will do for your iPhone 5/5s/5c. While still using the same leather materials of the Luxury Pocket Book, the Bella Fino dispenses with the wooden frame, instead using a washable and reusable sticky-backed adhesive material from none other than 3M.
The result is a stunning case that cradles your favorite member of the iPhone 5 family in luxurious materials, while quickly releasing it if you need to pop it into a sport case for a run. Like the Luxury Pocket Book -- and all of Pad & Quill's products for that matter -- the leather has a 25 year warranty.
If I was going to choose between the Luxury Pocket Book and the Bella Fino, I'd personally take the Bella Fino for two reasons -- I can see the sides of my "champagne" iPhone 5s in this case, and it would be easier to remove the case in order to "try on" all of the other cases we receive during the year.
Both the Bella Fino and Luxury Pocket Book are only going to get better looking with age. Leather tends to weather and age very nicely; I have a zipped leather wallet from San Francisco-based Waterfield Design that is just starting to get that leather patina, and it looks better now than the day I bought it.
A case for an iPhone is a very personal decision, but if you've spent the money on a new iPhone 5s or 5c, you might want to make sure that you give it a case that is worthy of protecting and accenting the Apple design. Pad & Quill's husband and wife owners, Brian and Kari Holmes, are absolutely dedicated to quality and back their products with pride. The Bella Fino and Luxury Pocket Book are both examples of what sets Pad & Quill apart from the competition.
Classic design, beautiful construction from top materials
25 year leather warranty, 30-day no-questions-asked return policy
Ample space for credit cards, identification, and cash
Two of the few iPhone cases that look as good on the inside as the outside
Worth every penny in terms of the quality and utility of the product
Who are they for?
The Pad & Quill Luxury Pocket Book and Bella Fino wallet cases for the iPhone 5 family will excite and please anyone who appreciates top quality materials and hand-crafted construction
As much as I'd love to cover my iPhone 5s in that fine little Bella Fino case, TUAW's policies prevent us from keeping review materials. My loss is your gain; one reader is going to win the Luxury Pocket Book, while another is going to receive the Bella Fino.
Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before November 16, 2013 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time.
You may enter only once.
Two winners will be selected. One will receive a Pad & Quill Luxury Pocket Book wallet case for iPhone 5/5s valued at $84.99, while the other receives the Pad & Quill Bella Fino wallet case valued at $54.99.